Balancing Act: Time Management Skills from a U.S. Olympic Athlete
Elana Meyers does it all. An Olympic bobsledder, master’s degree student, friend and fiancé. How does she do it? Elana gives us a look into her day and shares her time management tips, which she calls the most important skill in her everyday life. Following are some simple time management techniques to help keep a busy schedule on track.
The first step in prioritizing is to determine your long-term goals, says Meyers. Being an athlete taught her to stay focused on the task at hand, while working toward her long term goal. As a student, she aspires to graduate and in the meantime, learn as much about finance as possible. Her long-term aspiration is to be the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, which fuels her motivation to complete assignments on time and keep education at the forefront.
Ask for Help.
The best thing Elana has learned along the way is to ask for help. When she has a question on strength or form, she asks her bobsledding coach; when she is curious about an assignment, she asks her professor. Seeking help from experts expedites learning and helps us grow as individuals. Asking for help strengthens your time management skills and your communication skills as well.
Make lists, lists and more lists!
Lists and calendars are a must for Meyers when it comes to organizing, prioritizing and not overscheduling. As an athlete, student, friend and family member, Elana often finds herself overbooked. Lists help her remember when to say no and ensure she has time set aside to recharge. Her best friend? Google calendars. She has one for each of the different members of her team (e.g., agent, publicist, and even her fiancé) that she shares to better manage her time.
Recharge & Be Flexible.
There are only 24 hours in a day and a person can only do so much; being flexible is a must. When you prioritize, the most important to-do’s come first and everything else can wait. As an athlete, training is extremely important to Meyers. When a big competition is near, Meyer prioritizes her workouts first, setting aside at least three hours a day for training. In tandem, she dedicates time to her education; a flexible school schedule allows her to engage her studies when it’s time to focus on classwork.
Elana ends each day feeling accomplished. She is pursuing her dreams on the bobsled track and in the boardroom. She learns about and applies real life situations in school to best prepare her for the next stage of her life, and maybe one day as the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Elana Meyers is a graduate student at DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. Click here to view her profile or follow her on Twitter.